July, 2014
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Society of Biological Psychiatry
"Scientists collaborating to eliminate the suffering of mental illness."
In This Issue
SOBP Vision Statement
Message from the Editor
2014 Meeting Recap
2014 Top Awards
Article Headline
Article Headline
New Members
Other Meetings of Interest
Get Involved
Add SOBP to your Contacts
SOBP Contact Information
SOBP Vision Statement


The vision of the Society of Biological Psychiatry is to integrate, advance, and promulgate science relevant to psychiatric disorders, in order to reduce or prevent the suffering of people with these conditions.  


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May 14-16, 2015   



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Message from the Editor

Strakowski picture with monitor


As the immortal Frank Sinatra sang about New York "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere", indeed SOBP did exactly that! I am pleased to report that we had a superlative annual meeting.  We hosted 1933 attendees, a new annual meeting record including another record of more than 600+ students. This latter achievement is particularly notable given our increasing and serious commitment to mentoring and fostering the development of the next generation of behavioral neuroscientists. And the feedback from our record attendance has been overwhelmingly positive. The scientific sessions were well attended and the plenary sessions thought provoking exactly as we hoped. Kudos to Jair Soares (Program Chair) and John Csernansky (SOBP President) for leading an outstanding meeting. And Kudos to the city that never sleeps for certainly contributing to the attraction. I hope those of you who are not members will participate in our ongoing growth and success by joining us as we lead behavioral neuroscience forward.


As part of a new venture, we launched a 'roving reporter' function at this meeting to provide highlights from specific sessions. Kristina Denisova, PhD and Jie Liu, PhD, both from Columbia U., served in this role for us and their reports are included below. I hope you sense from these young scientists their enthusiasm that was generated by meeting with senior people within SOBP. Enjoy their reports, please send feedback for this function and thank you for your participation in SOBP.


Best Wishes,

Steve Strakowski, MD

SOBP President Elect

Senior Vice President, Strategy & Transformation, UC Health

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychology and BME, University of Cincinnati

Brain Mechanisms of Atypical Development: Implications for Biomarkers / Two Autism Symposiums

By Kristina Denisova, PhD, Columbia University

NIMH's recent call to action that aims to shift research innovation and translation towards understanding fundamental mechanisms of disease (i.e., and not solely focus on mechanisms of intervention) was echoed at the brain systems level in two 2014 SOBP symposia on neurodevelopmental disorders. In "Towards Brain-based biomarkers of autism spectrum disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder" investigators presented studies on the role that brain imaging may play in both early detection and characterization of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Rajesh Kana, PhD presented several lines of evidence for altered brain environment in autism. Dr. Kana found aberrant neurochemical (proton spectroscopy; 1H-MRS), structural connectivity (diffusion tensor imaging, DTI), and functional (fMRI) indices in the same sample of individuals with autism, in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region supporting diverse task demands. Lucina Q. Uddin, PhD presented compelling work on salience network-based classification of ASD (using intrinsic functional connectivity methods), with classifier's performance validated in an independent sample of children with ASD. In "Pioneering Frontiers in Functional Brain Imaging for Psychiatry", researchers highlighted in-vivo techniques to examine modulation of brain circuits and early typical and atypical development. Adriana Di Martino, MD used resting-state fMRI during natural sleep to "stratify the heterogeneity of autism" in young children based on their verbal proficiency. Taken together, these approaches highlight the fact that autism is likely a systems-level disorder, entailing important implications for development of more targeted brain-based biomarkers in autism.

The Pregnant Woman

By Jie Liu, PhD, Columbia University  

The symposium "The Last Therapeutic (and Translational) Orphan: The Pregnant Woman"  concentrated on one understudied field in psychiatry--namely, perinatal mental health. When severe mental disorders concur with pregnancy and childbirth, they pose a unique challenge for clinicians to manage the risks and benefits to both fetus/newborn and mother in making treatment plans. Dr. Catherine Monk discussed her work on how maternal prenatal distress may affect the

in utero environment, leading to altered fetal programming. For example, a fetus of a woman experiencing distress tends to have a higher heart rate when mother is exposed to psychological stressors. Downregulation of placental 11β-HSD2 mRNA levels is a potential epigenetic pathway in mediating effects of maternal glucocorticoids. Dr. Katherine Wisner and Dr. Kara Driscoll introduced their studies on maternal depression and bipolar disorder during and after pregnancy respectively. Mood disorders over the course of pregnancy have been associated with a sequence of detrimental effects on fetal development and mother-infant interactions. Both researchers explained in detail the complexity surrounding treatment.  Continuation of medications ameliorates symptoms and therefore allows affected women to be actively engaged in pregnancy and child care. Gestational use of medications, however, may present risks to the neurodevelopment of fetus/newborn. Treatment decisions are indeed a risk-benefit assessment that should be performed in an individualized manner. Dr. Tim Oberlander further demonstrated supporting evidence that 5-HT function in offspring is shaped by maternal mood, antidepressant uses and 5HTT promotor(SLC6A4) polymorphisms.  Together, these investigators invigorated further discussion re: the management of this complex clinical and research problem.


Functional Connectomes Project

By Jie Liu, PhD, Columbia University

Dr. Michael Milham is the director of the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute. He is one of the pioneers in incentivizing neuroimaging community to collaboratively build the high throughput database, an initiative analogous to the Human Genome Project. In 2009, Dr. Milham and Dr. Bharat Biswa co-funded the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project (FCP), to make public more than 1300 resting-state fMRI datasets from 30 imaging centers. This project has since spawned high volume visits to FCP website and a multitude of research papers using FCP datasets. In 2010, Dr. Milham launched a fortified version of aggregate database--The International Neuroimaging Data-sharing Initiative (INDI). The INDI shares phenotypic information with imaging data, diverse clinical and healthy populations, and prospective as well as retrospective data. The INDI has achieved landmark success in open-access sharing of large-scale datasets. The ADHD-200 Consortium, released in 2011, consists of imaging data collected from 351 children with ADHD and 571 healthy children. In 2012, the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange archived data from 539 participants with autism and 573 healthy controls. To advance openly sharing ongoing prospective data, the Nathan Kline Institute-Rockland Sample features over 200 datasets with a wealth of well-characterized phenotypic information at a pace of weekly upload. These collaborative efforts provide us an unprecedented opportunity to identify brain-based markers of normal brain-behavior development and illness-specific changes in brain functions.



By Jie Liu, PhD, Columbia University

In echoing this year's theme of "Accelerating the process of scientific translation", SOBP-2014 invited Dr. Christopher Austin, the Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), to deliver a plenary session on how he leads the NACTS in response to the heightened need to facilitate translational sciences. As Dr. Austin envisions, the NCATS is "a catalyst, convener, adaptor, innovator, tragedy-of-the-commons occupier, NIH venture space, with core values of collaboration and demonstrably useful deliverables". Its translational aims are embodied in 3 key programs and initiatives, including the Clinical and Translational Science Activities (CTSA), Rare Diseases Research and Therapeutics, and Re-engineering the Translational Sciences. Specifically, the CTSA is committed to paving the way for transforming lab findings to clinical applications rapidly and economically. For example, the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program engages a network of more than 60 CTSA-funded research institutions nationwide in support of translational sciences. Likewise, the mission of Rare Diseases Research and Therapeutics is to encourage research on biological basis of rare disorders and cultivate treatment development which might exceed the capacity of any individual enterprise.  The Re-engineering the Translational Sciences acts as the frontline for injecting new technologies into translational sciences. Projects in progress include the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening initiative, the NIH Chemical Genomics Center and the Toxicology in the 21st Century program. The exemplary success from NCATS demonstrated that the scientific translation can be fruitful with coordinated efforts of experts from diverse disciplines.



Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in these editorials are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, its officers, or members. 
2014 Meeting Recap

Society of Biological Psychiatry's 69th Annual Meeting

May 8-10, 2014
New York Hilton Midtown  

New York, NY  


 Accelerating the Process of Scientific Translation

On behalf of the Executive Council and the Program Committee, we would like to thank the more than 1933 researchers who descended upon New York City to attend the 2014 annual meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the highest attended meeting in the Society's history.
Over the course of the three-day meeting, attendees heard from experts in the field, shared their own research, and networked with their peers and colleagues.  We hope that you found the meeting to be exciting and stimulating for your own academic work. 
Please consider joining our Society, if you are not already a member, and joining us in our efforts to promote a better understanding of neuroscience and its application to psychiatric illness.   
2014 Top Poster Awards
In addition to all of the awards presented at the 2014 annual meeting, the following recipients were selected after the conclusion of the meeting to receive the Top Poster Award.   Each recipient will receive an engraved plaque and a $250 cash award.

For Basic Research
Kenneth Fish
University of Pittsburgh 
for the poster Alternations in Density of Gabaergic Boutons in the Prefrontal Cortex in Schizophrenia  
For Clinical Research
Gregory Sullivan
Columbia University
for the poster PET Quantification of 5-HT1A Receptor Binding In Vivo in Depressed Suicide Attempters  
For Translational Research
Do Tromp
University of Wisconsin 
for the poster Early Life Advertsity Leads to Aberrant Structural Development of Amygdala-prefrontal Network in Non-human Primates
Please click here for a listing of all awards presented at the 2014 annual meeting.
Visit www.sobp.org between August 1 and October 1, 2014, to submit your nominations for awards to be presented at the 2015 annual meeting, May 14-16, 2015, in Toronto.
2015 Meeting Announcement
May 14-16, 2015
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
Toronto, Ontario - Canada
"Stress, Emotion, Neurodevelopment and Psychopathology"

Important Dates:
August 1, 2014 - Travel fellowship and other awards opens
September 1, 2014 - Call for abstracts opens
October 16, 2014 - Symposium proposals dues
October 23, 2014 - Symposium abstracts due
October 1, 2014 - Award applications close
December 12, 2014 - Oral and poster abstracts due
January 12, 2015 - Hotel reservations and meeting registration opens
February 13, 2015 - Late breaking abstracts opens
March 13, 2015 - Late breaking abstracts due
May 14-16, 2015 - Meeting
Education Committee Update

     Over the past year, the Education Committee has worked to expand specialized programming for Junior Investigator (JI) Awardees and establish two new Award programs.  The Committee developed programing for 70 Awardees participating in the 2014 Annual Scientific Convention.  One programming highlight included "Career Development Roundtables" where SOBP members and NIMH intramural staff fielded questions on topics pertinent to the early career investigator.  Additionally, a workgroup session was held where small groups of JI Awardees met with Education Committee members to discuss the needs of the early career investigator and how the Society could help meet those needs.  Always popular, the Lunch and Learn lectures, open to all junior investigators, was a standing room only event.  Drs. John Krystal and Charles Nemeroff spoke on "Getting published" and "Working with the NIH", respectively.  The Committee is actively working on developing enhanced programming for the 2015 Annual Scientific Convention.


The Committee is exceptionally excited to offer two new Award programs in 2015, both approved by the SOBP Executive Council earlier this year: the SOBP Medical Student Scholars (MSS) Program, and the SOBP Psychiatry Residency Training Directors Initiative. These programs are highly complementary and will serve to help broaden the outreach of SOBP to medical students and psychiatry training programs.  


The Medical Student Scholars Program will support ten competitive travel awards for students interested in pursuing careers in academic and biological psychiatry to attend the 2015 SOBP meeting. The aim of this program is to promote interest in psychiatry and especially biological psychiatry among medical students. Special programming for this group will include sessions on conducting research during medical school, careers in biological psychiatry, interviewing for residency, and interaction with psychiatry residency training directors (see below). Mentoring will be provided throughout the meeting. This program should have a critical impact on students considering careers as physician-scientists in psychiatry.


The SOBP Psychiatry Training Director Initiative will invite ten training and/or assistant training directors to attend the 2015 SOBP meeting. This program aims to address two challenges in psychiatric education.  First, we want program directors aware of SOBP as a resource for trainees who aim for a career in biologically oriented research  - especially at programs that do not have a strong biological psychiatry representation on their faculty.  Second, we hope to support the integration of state-of-the-art neuroscience training into psychiatric education.  Training directors will be paired with a senior member of the Society, who will orient them to the meeting. Specific programming for this group will include a discussion of SOBP and what it has to offer academically oriented trainees, a discussion of how to integrate neuroscience education into psychiatry training, and a series of talks on current biologically grounded understandings of major psychiatric disorders. Additionally, time will be provided for training directors to interact with the Medical Student Scholars (see above). 


As you can see, the Education Committee is busy developing programs and content for future meetings.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know.


Paul Holtzheimer, MD - Chair

Kristina Deligiannidis, MD - Co-Chair


New Members Effective March 1 - July 1, 2014


First Name

Last Name




State-Research Institute of Physiology and Basic Medicine Russian Academy of Medical Sciences



University of Wollongong



Institute of Psychiatry, King's College



University of Idaho



University of Michigan






New York University



Massachusetts General Hospital - CHGR



McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School



University of Sao Paulo



Oxford University


Cardone Alvarez

Bellvite University Hospital-IDIBELL



Harvard Medical School






MGH/Harvard Medical School



University of Gothenburg



NYU School of Medicine



Massachusetts General Hospital



Massachusetts General Hospital



Israel institute for Biological Research



University of Western Ontario



VA Boston Healthcare System



University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health



University of Michigan



University of Vermont



Medical University of South Carolina



Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry


Knittel MD

Emergency Psychiatry Service, Naval Medical Service, Portsmouth NH



Sheppard Pratt Health System

P. Cedric


University of Amsterdam



Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute and Sydney Medical School



Lieber Institute for Brain Development

Lee Wei


Nanyang Technological University






Harvard Medical School



University of Sao Paulo



Columbia University



Yamaguchi University



Emory University



McMaster University



University of Manitoba



Synaptic Transmission, 1 H. Lundbeck A/S



All India Institute of Medical Sciences



VU Medical Center, Amsterdam



University of Wisconsin-Madison



Troy University



UC Davis



University of Toronto



Columbia University



School of Psychology UNSW



Washington University School of Medicine



Maastricht University Medical Centre



Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences Kashmir (IMHANS K)



Columbia University



Emory University School of Medicine



Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons



Veteran's Affairs Medical Center



University of Maryland School of Medicine



Brain and Mind Research Institute


van Amelsvoort

Maastricht University


Van Waarde

Rijnstate Hospital



Captain James A. Lovell, FHCC



University of British Columbia



The University of Melbourne



University of Michigan



University of Pennsylvania



Wittenberg University


Yapici Eser

Çankırı State Hospital



Lieber Institute for Brain Development



Lieber Institute for Brain Development


Other Meetings of Interest

ERP Bootcamp

July 14-23, 2014
University of California, Davis Campus


International Research on Impulsivity
July 24, 2014
Cambridge, UK


A Symposium to Honor the Legacy of Marshall Nirenberg
July 31, 2014
New York, NY 


Bench to Bedside & Back to Bench:  Translational Bridges in Mood & Addiction
September 4-6, 2014
Doubletree Hotel
Rochester, Minnesota
Contact:  Hailey Lalicata, [email protected], 507.293.2128

October 12-16, 2014
Copenhagen, Denmark

December 7-11, 2014
Phoenix, Arizona 

March 28 - April 1, 2015
The Broadmoor - Colorado Springs, CO

ISBD 2015 -17th Annual Conference of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders
June 3-6, 2015
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Get Involved - Join a Committee
Did you know that 15% of our members are actively engaged on Society committees?  Want to be engaged and involved with one of our committees? Looking for a leadership opportunity?  Then signup to join one of the Society's many award committees or a task force.  Click here to tell us which groups you would be interested in joining.
SOBP Career Center
Career Image 
SOBP's Career Center connects our members with employment opportunities and employers with the best professionals within our membership. Employment opportunities range from post-doc positions, faculty positions, neuroscience jobs in industry and alternative careers.
Visit SOBP's Career Center  today to explore employment opportunities.  Post an anonymous resume for employers or recruiters to view.
Links to other resources are available for your convenience.
Add SOBP to your Contacts
Be sure to add the following email address to your address book.  To communicate quickly and efficiently with our members, all correspondence (membership renewals, newsletter, meeting announcements, etc) from the Society is sent via email.  Depending upon the type of correspondence, you may receive emails from the following addresses:

Contact Us
Society of Biological Psychiatry Business Office
4500 San Pablo Rd - Birdsall 310
Jacksonville, FL 32224
904-953-2842 Office
904-953-7117 Fax
Biological Psychiatry Editorial Office
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
6363 Forest Park Rd., Suite 651 
Dallas, TX 75235-5435 
214-648-0880 Office 
214-648-0881 Fax
Society of Biological Psychiatry Newsletter Editorial Staff 

Stephen M. Strakowski, MD, Editor
Editorial Board
Helen Mayberg, MD
William B. Lawson, MD, PhD, DLFAPA 
Alan H. Young, MD, PhD 
Caleb M. Adler, MD

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